Two decades ago when social media did not exist, it would have been hard to accurately predict how digital marketing would look like today. The rise of social media has revolutionized how business market their products. How can you thrive to gain visibility in an increasingly crowded marketplace?
For today’s authors and publishers, it makes zero sense to want to market your work the same way people did back in the 90s. Back then, when social media was nonexistent, many publishers viewed marketing as an entirely different entity from the publishing. Today, the two go hand in hand. Social media marketing requires that you incorporate all aspects of a publishing house vis-à-vis digital marketing. Your marketing plan does not exist in isolation.
While tools like Social Growr can help you make significant headway into the marketplace, they need to be coupled with other tactics to give you success. Consider the following seven things you can do to succeed in this era of social media marketing.
1. Build an insanely great product or company
Even if you had a genius for a marketer, he would fail miserably if you have a poorly made product. Before you bring a marketer on board, do everything possible to create a unique product or service that offers unrivaled quality to your target market.
Do the same with your books; create a compelling brand message that resonates on a personal level with all your readers. For example, an author must first tell a compelling story in a way that attracts people to read his books. That way, the author can be sure that his marketing efforts will serve to boost the sales of books that most people will be more than happy to buy.
2. Create customer awareness
Indie authors have several ways they can create customer awareness. For one, you can offer potential readers some of your best short stories for free, or share your published articles with them to give them a glimpse into your writing style and as a way of introducing yourself to would-be buyers of your books. As more readers embrace your work, you will start to see them begin sharing your work with their peers on social media, giving you an opportunity to promote your books to this growing group that is a result of your efforts in customer awareness.
3. Start engaging..fast
As an author or publisher, instead of focusing on how much money you stand to gain through your new works, you should focus on offering content that inspires, educate, transform and entertain.
By seeking to offer the best, you will have the right mindset to engage potential book readers who will see your commitment to delivering the best reads. Getting readers’ feedback will help a great deal when you will be writing your next book.
4. Drive brand engagement
Every time there is a new work of fiction or unique content that your readers can’t get enough of, remember to use the opportunity to drive brand engagement. For an indie author, you want to give your readers a glimpse into how you create your works, how ideas are born in the recesses of your mind. These seemingly random thoughts can have great impacts on brand engagement, making many would-be readers connect with your line of thought long before they have read any of your books. For instance, Josiah Bancroft shared this GIF on Twitter:
This GIF gives potential readers a glimpse into the indie author’s thought pattern and general ideas in fiction writing and connects the two parties in ways other posts wouldn’t.
5. Managing customer experience
In an effort to make museum tours fun and exciting, the Smithsonian Museum reached out to SCVNGR, a game studio which created for them a trek game. This game gamified the tour of all the 9 Smithsonian museums where museum visitors answered 70 questions about the museums and the things you see there. As a result, Smithsonian museum visitors found the tour fun and engaging. They were also bound to remember the experience long after it is over.
This is an excellent example of managing customer experience. For indie authors, a simple thing like going live and answering pertinent questions from potential readers can boost their enthusiasm and create a longing for your book. You can also show them short videos of your preparations for the book launch including book signing events and what the experience will be like if they attend these events.
6. Loyalty programs
Creating a loyalty program is an excellent way to reward customers who have consistently bought your brand’s goods and services. For instance, for indie authors with a number of works in the pipeline, you can consider creating a loyalty program to reward readers with points every time they buy a new title from your catalog. Over time, you can award these loyal customers by allowing them to redeem the points to get your newest title.
Successful indie authors will tell you that the whole process is often challenging, but done right, has the potential to give you great returns. It is through a relentless commitment to creating and sharing relevant content with your followers and potential readers of your work that you make people begin to care about your work enough to talk about it, share it with their peers and buy it when it goes on the market. Whatever you do, keep growing; find ways of getting your readers attention and new, interesting approaches to selling your new works.
Author Bio: Marquis is a writer, social media manager, and SEO content marketer. She currently lives on the coast of Ecuador, working remotely as a freelancer. Her primary focus is on building online visibility of new, up and coming brand, particularly brands that promote health and wellness. She lives a nomadic lifestyle, though is originally from California.